Is your workplace prepared?

Nearly 1/3 of employers surveyed are concerned about attendance, work performance or erratic behaviour following legalization.

Are you prepared?

  • 71% of employers feel they are not prepared
  • 70% have employee's in safety sensitive jobs
  • 76% believe legalization will have a moderate impact
  • 10% do drug testing

Workplace Concerns

Impairment At Work

  • As a result of " Social Normalization" of Cannabis - Cannabis Act. 

Safety Sensitive Jobs

  • Safety sensitive jobs are those in which incapacity due to drug or alcohol impairment could result in direct and significant risk of injury to the employee, others or the environment. 

What I do on my own time

  • As individuals, we may hold varying opinions about the use, and the personal or societal impact of alcohol and drugs.
  • We make our own lifestyle choices…
  • Regardless of personal opinion alcohol and drugs can adversely affect an individuals mental and physical abilities.
  • This represents an obvious and real concern for companies that are committed to providing employees with a safe workplace.”

(Enform Alcohol and Drug Policy Model)

Drug Testing - What the Literature Says.. 

  • Research suggests that the presence of a workplace drug testing program observed a reduced rate of injuries. (~51% - construction industry)
  • Must align with Ontario Human Rights Code Requirements.
  • Drug testing does not provide a quantitative level of impairment similar to a breathalyzer.
  • Can be unreliable.
  • A UK study found that urine samples for THC would likely test positive up to 4 days after last cannabis use for an occasional or first time user.
  • 10 days after last cannabis use for a frequent user.
  • 1-2 months after last cannabis use for a very heavy user.

Drug Testing Alternatives

  • “The Commission supports the use of methods other than drug testing for dealing with employee impairment.
  • Awareness, education, rehabilitation and effective interventions such as enhanced employee supervision and monitoring are the most effective ways of ensuring that performance issues with alcohol and drug use are detected and resolved.”
  • Canadian Human Rights Commission

Impairment Effects on the Body

  • When inhaling cannabis, the chemicals in the smoke pass from the lungs into the bloodstream, which carries the chemicals throughout the body and to the brain.
  • Effects of cannabis are delayed if it is ingested instead of smoked.
  • The chemicals must first pass through the digestive system.
  • Users have varying sensitivity to the effects of THC.
  • Regardless of method of consumption, the effects are the same.
  • According to Health Canada (2016a), effects may include:
    • dizziness, drowsiness, feeling faint or lightheaded, fatigue, headache
    • impaired memory and disturbances in attention, concentration and ability to think and make decisions
    • disorientation, confusion, feeling drunk, feeling abnormal or having abnormal thoughts, feeling “too high”, feelings of unreality, feeling an extreme slowing of time
    • suspiciousness, nervousness, episodes of anxiety resembling a panic attack, paranoia (loss of contact with reality), hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that do not exist)
    • impairment of motor skills, and perception, altered bodily perceptions, loss of full control of bodily movements, falls
    • dry mouth, throat irritation, coughing
    • worsening of seizures
    • hypersensitivity (worsening of dermatitis or hives)
    • higher or lower blood levels of certain medications
    • nausea, vomiting
    • fast heartbeat

Why is Cannabis of Therapeutic Interest?

  • Compassionate end-of-life care
    • Neurodegenerative disorders
    • Severe pain, arthritis, anorexia, weight loss, and/or severe nausea from cancer and HIV/AIDS infection
  • Medical applications inclusive of:
    • Attention Deficit Disorder
    • Arthritis
    • Chronic pain
    • Glaucoma
    • Migraines
    • Sleep disorders

Signs and Effects of Cannabis Use


  • It isn’t always easy to detect the signs that someone is under the influence of cannabis.
  • Several factors come into play, including frequency of use and the THC concentration of the substance inhaled or ingested.
  • Most studies however agree on the following signs:
    • bloodshot eyes
    • talkativeness
    • increased appetite
    • hilarity
    • euphoria
    • lack of inhibitions


  • The effects, which are both physical and psychological, are here again extremely variable.
  • Some examples are presented below:
    • impaired coordination;
    • slowed reflexes;
    • lapses of attention and concentration;
    • impaired memory
  • And in the most serious cases:
    • disorientation
    • confusion;
    • anxiety attacks
    • paranoia
    • hallucinations



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